Closing Your Emotional Windows
By Peter Pamela Rose, PCC
The other day while I was playing around on my PC, I accumulated a bunch of minimized programs. When I clicked to access one, it dawned on me that those minimized programs or windows were still taking up my computer’s energy.
It was then I had my aha moment. Like my PC, I, too, have minimized windows: programs from my past that constantly take up my energy even though they may not be running at full tilt. There’s the minimized window of rejection when I did not get into Columbia and RADA; the minimized window of codependency for all the times I’ve said “yes” when I meant to say “no”; the minimized window of issues at elementary school, like being put into a lower reading group when all my friends remained in the higher one; and let’s not even get into the minimized window of high school!
These are just a few examples from the past, but there are also those windows that are taking up more energy, the ones that are more pressing because they need my attention more immediately, but for whatever reason are not getting it. For example, the pile of papers on my desk that need to be filed, the 84 (no, I am not kidding) email messages that I have not answered yet, and the new MAC computer I just bought that has been sitting in its box for a week because I am honestly intimidated by opening up its proverbial Pandora’s box.
All of these windows take up my energy on a low-grade (and sometimes a high-grade) level. These minimized windows are the reason why I am so tired at the end of the day and, when there are too many running, why I get sick with a cold. So what can I do to start closing these windows of my past and pressing present?
Nike came up with one of the best advertising slogans with its Just Do It campaign, and in many ways that is what needs to be done. I have written before about planning out your day the night before. Closing those windows will require putting aside time to deal with each one. Sometimes it may require a one-hour session of journaling, allowing yourself to get really clear with what it is that is still bothering you about a particular situation. Sometimes it may require 10 of those sessions. Perhaps outside help is needed. There is a wonderful expression that says “you can’t cure a sick mind with a sick mind”. Therefore, a cycle of “insanity” around a particular issue may need to be broken by going to a support group, therapy, or a coach, or reading and studying a book on that subject. The point is that we do not need to be slowed down by the minimized windows in our life; we can open them up, look at them, and then close them once and for all.